Monday, October 20, 2008

With hastily laid plans, Al and I crawled on the 6.43AM LIRR train out to Babylon, our pockets stuffed with Cliff Bars, and at 8 AM pointed our snot-dripping noses toward Montauk Highway and the eastern end of Long Island.

The sun was just coming up over the trees. Commuters lined up on the train platforms. I should have worn another layer on my torso. Al's feet went cold fast. The wind blew right in to our faces.

One hundred miles to go.

A few minor issues required some time off the bikes - three flats (three?), a lost contact lens (never to be found amid the roadside grit, not like we looked), and Al's need to pick up some booties. I started feeling pretty raw around mile 50 - the wind was blowing so hard in our faces. Any efforts above 22 miles per hour were folly, and the shoulder was so narrow that it was hard to get a draft. As if the wind and Al's skinny arse didn't make it hard enough.

I complain a little, but it's all part of the game.

It felt great to get out there and grind the gears for hours on end. After a little over four hours of riding time we cruised in to Montauk, legs wobbly, but with big smiles on our faces - the last few miles of rollers rewarded us with spectacular views of big, long, curling white waves crashing down one after another on to a cold, empty beach.

"Village Pizza!" Al roared, and we pulled off for a snack. We ate, idled for a little bit, picked up a few other snacks, and went to find the train station.

Let it be known, if you want to get on the train to Montauk, bring cash. There's no ticket machine, and you might find yourself drag racing around the immediate and abandoned area trying to find an ATM, with a strict time deadline - the next train isn't for another eight hours.

We made it.


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